What’s That Marker?

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2014 • all rights reserved

How do you know what all those markers mean? Keep this downloadable PDF next to the helm and you'll be able to quickly find anything!

Here’s a free guide that’s really good to have at hand any time you’re on the water. I print out a copy and keep it where I can easily grab it whenever I’m uncertain or just to double-check that I’m remembering things correctly.

While we may know the common markers, sounds and lights that we see, there are always times that we run into something unusual . . . or maybe we are now in a new area (say, going up the ICW after cruising the Bahamas).

  • What does a short-long-short horn mean? What does it mean that he just said he’ll pass me on the two-horn side?
  • Are the reds on the east or west side on the ICW?
  • Does that mean “danger – stay away” or “here’s the channel”?

Other times, we’re looking at the chart and wondering what the symbol there will look like on the water. That’s when this page comes in handy:

How do you know what all those markers mean? Keep this downloadable PDF next to the helm and you'll be able to quickly find anything!

Very nicely, the US Coast Guard has made this info into a free brochure that you can download. Below is taken directly from the Coast Guard site, so the brochure should be the most recent one published.

Click here to view the PDF.  Right-click this link to download (PDF, 6.7 mb)

NOTE: If you prefer a pre-printed plastic guide to have at the helm, Davis Instruments makes several useful ones, all available on Amazon — but not free, of course:

Do You Find The Boat Galley Useful?

You can support the site when you buy from Amazon by using the links on this site and the search bar below. No extra cost to you!

Comments

  1. Thanks for the link Carolyn. This will really come in handy!

  2. C.E. Jones says:

    Nice info, but one small point.

    The reds on the ICW are on the MAINLAND side. On the Florida west coat, they’ll be on the east side, on the Texas and Louisiana ,Alabama, Mississippi coasts, they are on the NORTH side.

  3. Hey all my boating buddies – you know who you are. Download and save this one.

  4. Jimmy Alderman

  5. Red Nun Bouy

  6. There is a lock on the Thames in Oxford with a sign that says “Keep left of the little red floaty things”

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